The Crown Jewel

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The price of the most expensive timepieces is typically not a reflection of an abundance of fine jewels; in most cases, the only precious stones are the synthetic rubies in the movement. However, Blancpain’s Spécialités Tourbillon Diamants, the newest flagship haute joaillerie watch for men, is an exception to the rule. The Swiss watchmaker packs a healthy amount of impressive jewels onto the 44-mm-wide case in 18-karat white gold, with diamonds serving as the central theme. The number of hours required to select and cut the stones is immense; the dial, bezel, crown, and rear of the watch are adorned with a complex patterning of various baguette-cut stones. Many of the stones are marginally tapered, resulting in a sunburst array. Twelve conspicuous lines of diamonds on the dial serve as hour markers, and even the watch hands are covered in a speckling of the precious gem.

With more than 20 carats of diamonds, it would be easy to write this timepiece off as merely a vehicle for jeweled splendor, but this Blancpain is also mechanically stunning. The sole detractor from the timepiece’s jewelry lineage is the large exposed flying tourbillion on the dial. It spins each 60 seconds, doubling as a subsidiary seconds indicator. The hand-made Blancpain caliber 25A movement features automatic winding and a very long 168-hour power reserve. Like most manufacture-made movements, the caliber—unsurprisingly surrounded by more diamonds—is viewable through a transparent sapphire crystal on the rear of the watch. Production of this spectacular timepiece may be limited to just one.


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